Written by Scotty
Every once in a while a series comes out that is just different enough to capture the hearts and minds of the audiences. Harper’s Island did that for me when it premiered a few years back. An actual horror show that would be on mainstream television was a dream come true, along with only a single season to have to watch, what could be better? As long as there is a strong storyline, along with decent acting and a conclusion that will not leave you questioning what you just watched, this could and should be the future of television.
Harper’s Island accomplished what very few other series have been able to. Without fear of being canceled with only being one season, it pushed the envelope and delivered a great story that did not leave the audience longing for answers. Being direct with the story and not having enough time to draw out any one specific storyline, this was a joy to watch as you tried to figure out what was happening on the island and who was behind it.
Henry Dunn and Trish Wellington are getting married on Harper’s Island and bringing all of their friends and family along for the ride. Henry’s only surviving family is his brother, J.D., has taken the loss of their parents very hard and takes to acting out as his defense mechanism. Also being joined by his longtime friend, Abby Mills, Henry understands the problems that she will encounter with her mother being killed on the island seven years prior, but is happy she decided to come along. Trish’s family however is not happy about the recent developments as her father is trying to get her to call off the wedding by bringing her college love back into play, but Trish is in love with Henry and will not deviate from her plans.
Henry is sticking with his friends as Trish is running around with her family and Abby is challenged with facing her past as she runs into her father, the sheriff. Although she blames her father for the death of her mother, Abby is willing to try to patch things up with him, but when an old flame comes into the picture, she cannot control the emotions running through her. As everything seems to be running seamlessly for the wedding, a couple of guests go missing. Not thinking much about it, as island life is not for everyone, the assumption is that the missing people have decided to leave and returned to the mainland, but there is something much darker happening in the little island community.
Seven years ago on Harper’s Island a mad man named John Wakefield unleashed hell on the small community, killing six people and stringing them up on a tree. Abby’s mother was one of the victims of his spree and will never forget the last moment she saw her mother, dangling from a branch. Her father reportedly shot and killed Wakefield, but upon Abby’s return to the island, there is doubt that the mad man is really dead. The killings have started again on the island, and even though the police believe they have the correct suspect in holding, the strange deaths of the wedding party do not end. Someone is killing off the new inhabitants of the island with no rhyme or reason, but in the manner of the Wakefield murders and everyone will have to watch their own backs as they do not know who to trust.
Without giving away the ending of the story, you are met with some very gruesome deaths, some that will just leave you shaking your head and a surprise at the end. With everyone acting suspicious around the island, it is hard to pinpoint who the true killer is. With all kinds of misleading clues to detour you from the grand finale, including dead animals being carved up and being placed on an altar, it was one of the most entertaining series I have watched on television in recent history. With enough story to get you to like all of the characters, you can chose who you believe would have it in them for the murders, plus a little girl that seems to know more of what is happening than everyone else on the island, it is very creepy and well written.
With a lot of series running for ten or more years, I find it difficult that so many people are still entertained with them. There is only so much you can do to keep a storyline fresh and so many actors you can remove before the fan base starts to stray. I have been saying this for years as some of the series I started watching have just become boring to me and have just stopped watching due to my lack of interest of what happens to anyone. Drawn out stories, stretches that would not fly on any networks in the late nineties are common practice now and I am amazed how many of these shows are still on the air with stunts they pull. Every television series should have a beginning a middle and an end, the length does not really need to be a factor, but with what has been on some of the longest running series, it is just depressing to watch them struggle to find a story when they don’t even try to change it from something they did a couple of years previous. Happy viewing and Stay Scared.